UK trade body the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has released figures for the first quarter of 2013, showing double-digit growth in finance on new cars bought through dealerships.
The figures show a 27% increase in new cars financed through dealerships for the year to March 2013, to 699,052 registrations. There was also 22% year-on-year growth for the first quarter of 2013, to 204,254 vehicles, and the 127,084 vehicles financed in March represented an 18% increase on the same month last year. Particularly important, given the change of number plate in March which makes the month the typical peak of new car registrations.
Used car finance fared less well, with 7% growth for the 12 months to March, as funding was placed for 796,164 vehicles. There was year-on-year growth for the quarter, up 4% to 215,958 vehicles, but year-on-year contraction of 1% for the month, down to 75,309 vehicles.
The FLA also reported its members’ penetration of the private new car registrations market had increased over the month, up to 72.9%, compared with 71.9% in February.
Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the FLA, attributed the static used car finance volumes in March to "the new number plate helping to drive strong growth in private new car finance sales."
The trends for private car sales appear reversed for business cars financed. Across the twelve month period the number of new cars financed rose by 3% to 394,615, but it was down 2% for the first quarter, to 91,062, and down 11% for the month to 37,194.
However the number of used cars bought on finance by businesses rose dramatically. A 51% rise for the year to March, to 71,374, was overtopped by a 71% rise for the quarter to 21,271, and for March there was a 5% year on year increase to 4,260.